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Poster: chris in long beach Date: Jun 11, 2010 8:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

Ok, I never thought I'd be able to get into Dark Star, but the one from 2/18/71 gives me the warm and fuzzies (especially the part after Wharf Rat)

Now, I love me some songs with long jam sections (Eyes of the World and Here Comes Sunshine), but I've never really been able to get into Dark Star and Playin' in the Band. Could any of you fine folks point me in the right direction?


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Poster: Longnstrange Date: Jun 11, 2010 11:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

You might want to go here

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Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Jun 11, 2010 8:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

Wow! Honestly, there are some days where All I Listen To Are Dark Stars and Playing In The Bands!! I recommend repeated listenings To Dick's Pick #19 from The Oaklahoma Fairgrounds, in 1973. Repeated Listenings!!!

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Jun 13, 2010 7:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

The DP 19 Playin' in the Band is very very good. The jams exploratory yet extremely cohesive and high energy... just like a swiss watch. The DS is a little more spacey than I prefer but its got that nice effect where it seems like they are fucking with the time-space continuum. On 4 tabs it made me feel like I was disintegrating... but Morning Dew is there to bring you back from the astral planes... thanks Jerry!

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 13, 2010 4:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

It's not a Dark Star, and it doesnt sound anything like the "Beautiful Jam" from 2/18/71, but the Jam at the Watkins Glen soundcheck on 7/23/73 is somewhat similar in that it also is completely unique an has never before or after been duplicated. It too islovely, extremely cohesive and seems to come out of nowhere...

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Jun 13, 2010 2:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

thanks Cliff, hadn't listened to that Jam previously; the 2nd half is more to my liking, but the entire Jam is definitely worth one's attention

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Jun 12, 2010 7:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

I usually find something to enjoy about most every "Dark Star". However, at times the mega-long versions from '72-74 get a little slow, even tedious for me (though I'm well aware that many think of these as the years where "Dark Star" fully ripened). I like my Stars a little more compact and energetic side.

Here is a very nervy, focused "Dark Star" from a classic 1970 show. If I recall correctly, William Tell and a few others share my enthusiasm for this version.

In addition, here is a somewhat dated (it's been out there a decade or so at least) but still valuable guide to the song's history written by Jim Powell:

DARK STAR (updated 3/03)

This document consists of two parts. The first catalogs all known Dark Star
performances and gives timings for all circulating tapes. It is comprised of 5 lists:

Circulating Tapes Of Dark Star
Dark Stars Still Missing From Circulation
AUD Dark Stars (Dark Stars available only on AUD tape)
Defective SBD Dark Stars
Fragmentary Dark Stars

The second part is a note on the evolution of Dark Star.



The following is a list of the 219 live performances of Dark Star plus 4 studio
versions for which tape currently circulates, including three tapes, one from
spring '68, one from May '68 and another from Fall '68, whose venues and exact
dates are unknown. It gives the timing of each, an indication of what is missing
if the tape is fragmentary, and the best tape source for each; the existence of
AUD tapes is usually not indicated if SBD circulates.

American Studios, LA 11/14/67: 2 studio versions 2:48 & 2:41 SBD
LA Studio, late 67: 2:38 SBD Warner Bros Single 7186

Carousel Ballroom 1/17/68: beginning clipped #4:48 SBD
Eureka 1/20/68: breaks off after 3:17 FM-SBD
Seattle 1/22/68: 5:49 SBD
Kings Beach Bowl, Lake Tahoe 1/24/68: 6:49 Dick's Picks 22
Portland 2/3/68: 5:26 SBD
Carousel Ballroom 2/14/68: 5:54 SBD
Carousel Ballroom 3/16/68: 7:20 SBD
Carousel Ballroom 3/26/68: 7:14 SBD
Carousel Ballroom 3/30/68: 8:45 SBD
Alembic Studios, SF early or mid 68: studio rehearsal 11:49 SBD -- formerly dated 11/ or 12/68
UV spring '68: #4:04 SBD only the end of the jam with several minutes missing before it
Unknown Venue 5/68: 16:06 SBD
Fillmore West 8/21/68: beginning missing 14:14 SBD
Fillmore West 8/22/68: 11:19 SBD
Shrine, LA 8/23/68: 15:30 SBD
Shrine, LA 8/24/68: 11:21 SBD Two From The Vault
Avalon 8/28/68: 10:40 SBD
Sky River Festival, Sultan, WA 9/2/68: 13:51 SBD
Unknown Venue Fall '68: 12:12. Probably the Matrix, probably October.
Matrix 10/8/68: 11:40 SBD
Matrix 10/9/68: 13:05 SBD
Avalon 10/12/68: 15:30 SBD Widely circulated mislabeled "10/13/68."
Avalon 10/13/68: beginning missing 13:35 SBD. The actual show for this date.
Greek, Berkeley 10/20/68: 10:05 SBD
Matrix 10/30/68: two Dark Stars on this date, the 2nd with Jack Casady 17:30 & 19:24 SBD
Chico 11/1/68: 11:30 SBD
Columbus 11/22/68 beginning missing 12:47 AUD
Bellarmine College, Louisville 12/7/68: beginning missing 13:24 SBD
Gulfstream Raceway, Hallendale, FL 12/29/68: 10:26 SBD

Santa Barbara 1/17/69: 13:18 SBD
Avalon 1/24/69: 18:59 SBD
Avalon 1/25/69: beginning missing #14:08 SBD
Avalon 1/26/69: 9:#45 with cut in middle SBD
St. Paul 2/2/69: 15:33 SBD
Omaha 2/4/69: 13:15 SBD
Kansas City 2/5/69: beginning missing 11:43 SBD
St. Louis 2/6/69: 13:54 cut in the middle SBD
Pittsburgh 2/7/69: 14:09
Fillmore East 2/11/69: 12:29 SBD Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (Arista)
Philadelphia 2/14/69: first bar clipped 19:23 SBD
Philadelphia 2/15/69: 22:42 SBD
Dream Bowl, Vallejo 2/21/69: 22:22. SBD
Vallejo 2/22/69: 22:17 SBD
*Fillmore West 2/27/69: 23:05 SBD Live Dead
Fillmore West 2/28/69: 19:50 SBD
Fillmore West 3/1/69: 22:48 SBD
Fillmore West 3/2/69: 20:37 SBD
SF Hilton 3/15/69: 19:07 SBD
Pasadena 3/22/69: 15:25 SBD
Modesto 3/28/69: 22:45 SBD. Formerly mislabeled "Merced 3/27/69".
Las Vegas 3/29/69: 21:15 SBD
Avalon 4/4/69: 20:18 SBD
Avalon 4/5/69: 18:39 SBD
Tucson 4/11/69: 20:20 SBD
Salt Lake City 4/12/69: #22:21 SBD
*Boulder 4/13/69: 24:01 SBD
Worcester 4/20/69: 21:12 SBD
The Ark, Boston 4/21/69: 22:51 SBD
*Boston 4/22/69: 30:42 SBD
Boston Ark 4/23/69: 21:02 SBD
Chicago 4/26/69: 1:25 SBD
*Minneapolis 4/27/69: 26:37 SBD Dick's Picks
Polo Field, Golden Gate Park, SF 5/7/69: 22:19 SBD
Rose Palace, Pasadena 5/10/69: 20:59 SBD
Hollywood, FL 5/23/69: 18:47 SBD
McArthur Court, Eugene 5/31/69: 23:58 SBD
Fillmore West 6/5/69: 21:11 SBD
Fillmore West 6/7/69: 20:46 SBD
Monterey 6/14/69: 15:10 SBD
Fillmore East 6/21/69 Late Show: nearly all of central jam missing 7:#43 SBD
Central Park, NYC 6/22/69: beginning missing and with cut in middle 12:01 B+ AUD
Santa Rosa 6/27/69: 25:49 SBD
Electric Theater, Chicago 7/5/69: 18:11 SBD
*Piedmont Park, Atlanta 7/7/69: 26:58 SBD
Queens 7/12/69: 9:40 mildly degraded SBD
Woodstock 8/16/69: 17:50 SBD
Seattle 8/20/69: 6:38 SBD
St. Helens, OR 8/23/69: 1st vocals missing 26:#44 SBD.
*Family Dog 8/28/69: 63:#51 SBD (Dark Star 31:16 # 16:03 > Eleven jam 9:49 > Dark Star 6:43)
[*w/ Howard Wales & w/o Weir, McKernan, or Constanten]
*Family Dog 8/30/69: 28:56 SBD
New Orleans 9/1/69: 17:47 mildly degraded SBD
Fillmore East 9/26/69: beginning missing 17:24 B AUD
Winterland 10/25/69: 21:42 SBD
*Family Dog 11/2/69: 30:06 SBD
Fillmore 11/7/69: 25:43 with a cut in the middle SBD
*Fillmore 11/8/69: DS 14:05 > Other 11:52 > DS 1:55 > UJB's jam 2:23 > DS 3:01 SBD Dick's Picks
Fillmore West 12/4/69: 30:55 mildly degraded SBD
Thelma Theater 12/11/69: 19:53 SBD
Dallas 12/26/69: 26:00 SBD
Boston Tea Party 12/30/69: 19:06 with end missing SBD

Fillmore East 1/2/70: 30:10 with the end missing SBD
Corvalis 1/17/70: 20:51 SBD
Honolulu 1/23/70: 18:14 SBD
St. Louis 2/2/70: 21:54 SBD
*Fillmore West 2/8/70: 26:43 excellent AUD
Fillmore East 2/11/70: 17:02 > Spanish Jam 9:40 composite of excellent AUD and SBD
*Fillmore East 2/13/70: 29:46 SBD Dick's Picks
Fillmore East 2/14/70: 23:36 SBD
Pirate's World, Dania FL 3/24/70: 4:54 + 8:54 = 13:48 SBD with cut as noted
*Denver 4/24/70: 24:39 A minus AUD
Fillmore East 5/15/70: 19:24 SBD
Newcastle 5/24/70: 21:21 SBD
Port Chester 6/24/70: 10:20 ... 7:48 ... 3:01 near excellent AUD
*Fillmore East 9/17/70: 27:10 near excellent AUD
Fillmore East 9/19/70: 24:58 SBD
Paterson 10/11/70: beginning missing 20:19 near excellent AUD
Port Chester 11/5/70: 21:00 near excellent AUD
Port Chester 11/8/70: 24:48 excellent AUD

Port Chester 2/18/71: DS 7:11 > Wharf Rat 9:59 > 7:55 SBD
Boston 4/8/71: 14:25 SBD
Fillmore East 4/26/71: 13:45 SBD
Fillmore East 4/28/71: 14:26 SBD
Yale Bowl 7/31/71: 21:20 B+ AUD
Chicago 10/21/71: DS 14:53 > Sittin 3:14 > DS 2:16 somewhat degraded FM
Detroit 10/24/71: 20:59 SBD
Columbus 10/31/71: 23:14 SBD. Dicks Picks
Harding Theater, SF 11/7/71: 13:15 SBD
Austin 11/15/71: DS 12:35 > El Paso 4:35 > DS 7:40 SBD
Felt Forum, NYC 12/5/71: DS 8:30 > My Uncle 2:30 > DS 12:56 SBD
Ann Arbor 12/15/71: 20:30 SBD

Academy of Music 3/23/72: 22:43 SBD
*London 4/8/72: 31:30 SBD Steppin' Out
*Copenhagen 4/14/72: 29:14 SBD, FM & AUD
**Dusseldorf 4/24/72: DS 25:15 > My Uncle 2:99 > 15:06 degraded SBD patched with AUD
Hamburg 4/29/72: 29:26 SBD also excellent AUD
Paris 5/4/72: 40:03 SBD
Manchester 5/7/72: 19:27 SBD
*Rotterdam 5/11/72: 47:20 SBD
Munich 5/18/72: 27:20 SBD
London 5/23/72: 31:16 SBD
*London 5/25/72: 35:08 SBD
*Jersey City 7/18/72: 28:57 SBD
Portland 7/26/72: 30:49 SBD
*BCT 8/21/72: 27:34 SBD
BCT 8/24/72 27:10 SBD
*Veneta, Oregon 8/27/72: 31:44 SBD
Hollywood 9/10/72: 34:59 SBD w/ Crosby
Boston 9/16/72: 26:56 SBD with conclusion patched with excellent AUD
**Philadelphia 9/21/72: 37:22 SBD
*Waterbury 9/24/72: 34:13 SBD
Jersey City 9/27/72: 31:14 SBD Dick's Picks
*St. Louis 10/18/72: 28:02 FM-AUD Bear's AUD master, FM-broadcast; SBD
Milwaukee 10/23/72: 27:03 near excellent AUD
Cincinnati 10/26/72: 21:10 SBD
Cleveland 10/28/72: 27:43 Bear's AUD master
*Kansas City 11/13/72: 33:36 Bear's AUD master patched @ 11:17 w/ 1:35 of 2nd AUD master
*Houston 11/19/72: 31:22 SBD
San Antonio 11/26/72: 24:52 SBD
Winterland 12/11/72: 33:26 SBD
Long Beach 12/15/72: 23:03 SBD

Madison 2/15/73: 19:17 SBD
Champaign 2/22/73: 13:49 SBD
*Lincoln 2/26/73: 25:18 SBD
Nassau 3/16/73: 26:46 SBD
Utica 3/21/73: 21:41 SBD
Philadelphia 3/24/73: 25:36 SBD
*Springfield 3/28/73: 32:14 SBD (de-hummed), also excellent AUD
*Washington, D.C. 6/10/73: 26:08 SBD
*Portland 6/24/73: 26:35 SBD
Universal Amph. 6/30/73: 16:15 SBD
Jersey City 8/1/73: 24:52 SBD
William & Mary 9/11/73: 21:42 excellent AUD, also SBD
*Oklahoma City 10/19/73: 27:12 SBD Dick's Picks
Madison 10/25/73: 23:14 SBD
St. Louis 10/30/73: 26:59 SBD
**Winterland 11/11/73: 36:08. SBD
Denver 11/21/73: 3:25 SBD
Boston 11/30/73: 9:08 SBD Dick's Picks 14.
**Cleveland 12/6/73: 43:28 SBD
Tampa 12/18/73: 20:56 SBD

*Winterland 2/24/74: 28:54 SBD
Missoula 5/14/74: 26:41 SBD
Miami 6/23/74: 21:52 great AUD, also SBD
Chicago 7/25/74: 23:59 SBD
*London 9/10/74: 31:03 SBD Dick's Picks
Winterland 10/18/74: 31:34 SBD

Winterland 12/31/78: 12:30 & 1:11 SBD

Nassau 1/10/79: 18:28 mildly degraded SBD
Buffalo 1/20/79: 9:16 A minus AUD

Oakland Aud 12/31/81: 14:50 SBD

Greek Theater, Berkeley 7/13/84: 16:09 SBD

Hampton 10/9/89: 18:30 SBD
Brendan Byrne 10/16/89: 11:36. 5:23 SBD
**Miami 10/26/89: 29:06 SBD
Oakland 12/31/89: 14:48 SBD

Nassau 3/29/90: 18.18 & 2:51 SBD w/ Branford Marsalis.
*Washington, D.C. 7/12/90: 25:18 SBD with missing end patched with excellent AUD
*NYC 9/20/90: DS 12:01 > Playin 5:00 > DS 14:37 SBD
Berlin 10/20/90: 13:07, 4:07 SBD
London 11/1/90: 10:00 ... 10:48 SBD
Denver 12/12/90: 13:46 SBD
Denver 12/14/90: 7:10 SBD
*Oakland 12/31/90: 20:39 SBD w/ Branford Marsalis.

Greensboro 4/1/91: 23:31 & 1:16 SBD
RFK, Washington, D.C. 6/14/91: 10:45 SBD
Giants 6/17/91: 1:28 ... 1:22 ... 1:00 ... 9:48 ... 0:34 SBD
Chicago 6/22/91: 7:03 SBD
Denver 6/28/91: 1:28 SBD
Shoreline 8/16/91: 10:17 SBD
Shoreline 8/17/91: 1:18 SBD
Richfield 9/6/91: 3:18 SBD
MSG, NYC 9/8/91: 10:30 SBD
MSG, NYC 9/10/91: 12:29 & 12:40 SBD w/ Branford Marsalis
Boston Garden 9/24/91: 14:18 SBD
Boston Garden 9/26/91: 15:50 & 6:46 SBD
Oakland 10/31/91: 11:16 & 3:18 SBD w/ Ken Kesey.

Landover 3/9/92: 11:30 near excellent AUD, also SBD
Hamilton, Ontario 3/20/92: 14:27 near excellent AUD, also SBD
Richfield 6/8/92: 8:52 near excellent AUD, also reportedly degraded SBD
Charlotte 6/18/92: 6:00 SBD
Pittsburg 6/22/92: 4:05 SBD
Oakland 12/12/92: 12:14 & 5:44 SBD
Oakland 12/16/92: 7:09 SBD

Landover 3/17/93: 10:26 SBD
Deer Creek 6/23/93: 6:14 SBD
Philadelphia 9/13/93: 5:36 SBD
MSG, NYC 9/22/93: 7:31 SBD w/ David Murray

Rosemont 3/16/94: 11:14. B+ AUD, also FM-SBD
Atlanta 3/30/94: 10:21 SBD

*, ** = remarkable Dark Stars: * & ** = Top 40. ** = Top Five.


There are 21 dates on which reportedly Dark Star was played, but for which no tape
yet circulates. These dates, and the sources of the claims, are:

Shrine Aud, LA 12/13/67 -- DeadBase

King's Beach Bowl, Lake Tahoe 2/22/68 -- David Lemieux (defective vault SBD)
Carousel Ballroom 3/17/68 -- DeadBase
National Guard Armory, St. Louis MO 5/24/68 -- Latvala, but this may be a mislabel of 2/6/69
Carousel 6/7/68 -- DeadBase
Fillmore West 8/20/68 -- DeadBase
Hyde Park Teen Center, Cincinnati 11/24/68 -- DeadBase
Winterland 12/31/68 -- DeadBase

Fillmore East 2/12/69 -- Rob Eaton
Fillmore West 2/19/69 -- DeadLists
Washington University, St. Louis 4/17/69 -- Latvala
Winterland, 5/3/69 -- DeadBase
Springer's Hall, Portland, OR 5/30/69 -- Latvala; audience member
Family Dog At The Great Highway 8/3/69 -- Latvala
Fillmore 12/20/69 -- DeadBase

Buffalo 3/17/70 w/ symphony orchestra -- DeadBase
Fillmore West 4/11/70 -- DeadBase
Mammoth Gardens, Denver 4/25/70 -- DeadBase
York Farm, Poynette, Wisconsin 4/26/70 -- audience member Ron Ramsey
46th St. Rock Palace, Brooklyn, NYC 11/13/70 -- audience member

[Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 4/14/71 -- DeadBase's list is probably wrong]

Copenhagen 4/17/72 -- DeadBase


Kokomo (Billy & Brent's band from the mid-80s) played Dark Star at least

Unknown Venue 8/19/84 12:35 AUD
Casino Club, Hampton Beach 85-86: 10:16# AUD breaks off before conclusion

Identification of the unknown venue & unknown date would be much appreciated


Of the 219 live Dark Stars currently circulating on tape, 16 circulate only or
primarily on AUD tape. These tapes are:

Columbus 11/22/68: beginning missing 12:47 B+ AUD
Central Park, NYC 6/22/69: beginning missing & cut in middle 12:01 B AUD
Fillmore East 9/26/69: beginning missing 17:24 B AUD

Fillmore West 2/8/70: 26:43 A AUD
Denver 4/24/70: 24:39 A- AUD
Port Chester 6/24/70: 10:20 ... 7:48 ... 3:01 A- AUD
Fillmore East 9/17/70: 27:10 near excellent AUD
Paterson 10/11/70: beginning missing 20:19 B+ AUD
Port Chester 11/5/70: 21:00 A- AUD
Port Chester 11/8/70: 24:48 A AUD

Yale Bowl 7/31/71: 21:39 B+ AUD

Milwaukee 10/23/72: 27:03 B+/A- AUD
Cleveland 10/28/72: 27:43 A AUD Bear's AUD master, FM-broadcast
Kansas City 11/13/72: 32:16 A AUD Bear's AUD master, w/ 1:42 gap patched w/ B+ AUD

Buffalo 1/20/79: 9:16 A- AUD

Richfield 6/8/92: 8:52 A- AUD


Of the 219 live and 4 studio Dark Stars currently circulating on tape, 203
circulate in SBD. Among these there are 3 SBDs that are markedly defective in sound quality:

Queens 7/12/69: 9:40 degraded SBD
New Orleans 9/1/69: 17:47 degraded SBD
Dusseldorf 4/24/72: DS 25:15 > My Uncle 2:99 > 15:06 degraded SBD p/w AUD B

Dusseldorf 4/24/72 is by far the single most important Dark Star for which we
still lack prime quality tape in circulation. The best copies available consist
of a rather degraded SBD cassette patched with about 2 minutes from the B grade AUD.
The SBD cassette flips at 18:02 into the Dark Star and there is missing 2:19 in the
flip, which can be supplied from the AUD tape. We really need a fresh transcript
of the SBD or, far better, a mix-down from multi-track.


Of the 219 live Dark Stars currently circulating on tape, at least 24 are fragmentary.

Carousel Ballroom 1/17/68: cuts in near the beginning 4:48.

Eureka 1/20/68: cuts after 3:17 on the master SBD

Columbus 11/22/68: beginning missing 12:47 AUD

UV spring '68: #4:04 SBD only the end of the jam with several minutes missing
before it

Fillmore West 8/21/68: 2-5 minutes are missing from the begining of this 14:14
fragment of SBD

Avalon 10/13/68: This 13:35 fragment is missing its beginning (unlike the Avalon
10/12/68, which circulated for years mislabeled "10/13/68" -- so if you think you
have a "complete" 10/13/68 Dark Star, what you have is in fact the 12th)

Bellarmine College, Louisville, KY 12/7/68: The first minute or two of this 13:24
SBD fragment is missing.

Avalon 1/25/69: beginning missing #14:08 SBD

Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco 1/26/69: There is a piece missing in the middle of
this 9:45 fragment of SBD.

Soldiers & Sailors, Kansas City 2/5/69: The opening of this 11:43 SBD fragment is

St. Louis 2/6/69: There is something missing from the middle of this 13:54 SBD

Philadelphia 2/14/69: first bar clipped 19:23 SBD

Salt Lake City 4/12/69: something missing at the start #22:21 SBD

Fillmore East 6/21/69 Late Show: nearly all of central jam missing 7:#43 SBD

Central Park, NYC 6/22/69: The first minute or so of this Dark Star is missing
on the AUD tape, which also has a cut around 10 minutes in before breaking off
after 12:01.

St. Helens, OR 8/23/69: 1st vocals missing 26:#44 SBD.

Family Dog 8/28/69: 47:#19 (31:16 + 16:03) > The Eleven jam 9:49 > Dark Star
6:43 + 63:#51 SBD w/ Howard Wales

Fillmore East 9/26/69: beginning missing 17:24 B AUD

Fillmore 11/7/69: The circulating SBD has a cut at 19:57, 1:35 after the
beginning of the Uncle John's jam, followed by another almost 6 minutes to make
up this 25:43 fragment.

Boston Tea Party 12/30/69: This Dark Star cuts off after 18:53 on the SBD.
Probably 2-3 minutes more are missing here on the master.

Fillmore East 1/2/70: 30:10 with the end missing SBD

Pirate's World, Dania FL 3/24/70: 4:54 + 8:54 = 13:48 SBD with cut as noted

Paterson 10/11/70: beginning missing 20:19 near excellent AUD

Waterbury 9/24/72 34:13 there is a cut at 0:53

Some of these Dark Stars may be intact on the masters -- possibilities include
1/25/69, 1/26/69, 2/5/69, 2/6/69, 4/12/69, 9/24/72, and especially:

6/21/69 Late Show: Rob Eaton lists 101 minutes of cassette SBD for this show,
but only 91 circulates. One would guess that at least 10 minutes are missing
from the circulating Dark Star.

11/7/69: Eaton lists 122 minutes of reel SBD but only about 103 minutes circulate.
There is room to hope that the complete tape contains the complete Dark Star.

The rest of these Dark Stars are almost certainly fragmentary on the masters of
the circulating tapes.



Dark Star 'matured' -- and doubled in length -- during the October '68 Matrix shows.
The first full-grown ripe Dark Stars are the Live Dead Dark Stars of the first half
of '69. There are more than 30 versions circulating on tape. The structure of this
Dark Star (a "Live Dead", or "First Stage" Dark Star) is as follows

DS theme & jam > 1st vocals > jam > DS theme jam & 2nd vocals > transition > another
tune (e.g. St. Stephen)

The Second Stage Dark Star evolved during the summer of '69 -- primarily by the moderate
expansion of the jamming before 1st vocals and the addition of "space" after the 1st
vocals. Its structure is as follows

DS theme & jams > 1st vocals > space > additional jam > DS theme jam & 2nd vocals
(or Tiger) > transition >

Family Dog 8/30/69 28:56 and Winterland 10/25/69 22:05 are fine examples of '69
Second Stage Dark Stars.

The Third Stage Dark Star does not emerge full-blown until '72 but several performances
in '69 and '70 anticipate it, notably; Family Dog 11/2/69 30:06, Fillmore West 2/8/70
26:43 AUD, Fillmore East 2/13/70 29:46, and Fillmore East 9/17/70 27:10 AUD.

After 11/8/70 they dropped the second vocals. They revive them at the Academy of
Music 3/23/72 23:34 and once more at Portland 7/26/72 30:49, and then not again
until the Dark Stars of '89 - '94.

The climactic Third Stage Dark Star only appears full-formed in Europe '72. It's
structure is

DS theme & jam > additional jams > return to DS theme jam & 1st vocals > space >
additional jams > Tiger > more jamming > transition >

After the appearance of the Second Stage Dark Star, nearly all Dark Stars take this
form, but after the appearance of the prototypical Third Stage Dark Star there are
still many Second Stage Dark Stars -- 'Second Stage' because they lack the additional
jams (plural) both before and after the 1st vocals. For instance, the Tiger appears
in many Second Stage Dark Stars as the climax of the post-space jamming. What distinguishes
Third Stage Tigers is that The Tiger is just one episode in a series of jams following
space -- sometimes it forms the climax & leads to transitional jamming into the next song;
other times further episodes of jamming follow it (Sputnik, Feelin Groovy Jam, Mind Left
Body Jam, ...)

Third Stage Dark Stars tend to be more than 30 minutes long. Obvious examples are

Wembley London 4/8/72 31:30
Dusseldorf 4/24/72 42:58 (including 3:10 of Me & My Uncle)
London 5/25/72 35:13
Hollywood Pavillion 9/10/72 34:59
Philadelphia 9/21/72 37:22
Waterbury 9/24/72 34:13
Kansas City 11/13/72 32:16
Houston 11/19/72 31:22
Winterland 12/11/72 32:43
Springfield 3/28/73 32:14
Oklahoma City 10/19/73 28:49
Winterland 11/11/73 35:12
Cleveland 12/6/73 42:27

Rotterdam 5/11/72 48:38 is the longest Dark Star known besides Family Dog 8/28/69 63:#51

Winterland 10/18/74 31:34 represent the tune's dissolution into space.

Cleveland 12/6/73 42:27 is remarkable not only for its scale but for its structure,
which turns the customary Third Stage structure inside-out, working in toward the Dark
Star theme, rather than starting from it, and moving out into space after the 1st vocals
rather than back from it.

Besides the Dark Star Gigantea, or Third Stage Dark Star, another remarkable species
of Dark Star is the Dark Star Ferox. These don't have quite the 30-minute plus dimensions
of the Third Stage Dark Stars but they have a characteristic fierceness of attack &
intensity that makes them stand out. Obvious examples are

Austin 11/15/71: 26:04 (including 4:46 of El Paso)
Hamburg 4/29/72 29:26
Madison 10/25/72 24:04

This post was modified by skuzzlebutt on 2010-06-12 14:55:29

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Poster: chris in long beach Date: Jun 12, 2010 8:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to check in and say thanks for the recommendations! I'm heading out of town today and will start listening over the next week. Keep the suggestions coming. :)

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jun 11, 2010 9:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

Chris , check out the DS from 6 - 24 - 70 . There are some beautiful moments such as 2 - 18 - 71 . Start @ NFA for the complete thrill ride .
Or for further adventures go to Betty Nelsons' Organic Raspberry Farm , 9 - 2 - 68

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 12, 2010 1:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

As far as what other Dark Stars are like the 2-18-71 version.....there aren't any. That last section, in particular, they never played again. Nor will you hear another Star>Wharf Rat>Star.

But, '70/71 does have other concise, happy-sounding versions. If you're not into Dark Stars in general (and prefer shorter happy-type jams like in Eyes or Sunshine), I assume you're not into the long spacy half-hour stuff - in fact, I'd point you to this recent thread, where someone asked a similar question and got a lot of recommendations:

I'd second people's recommendations for 6-24-70, and add that the 10-31-71 (Dick's Pick) Star is a very uplifting version you might like. 9-19-70 may require a bit of patience after the verse, but rewards the wait.

And, skuzzlebutt - that Dark Star document was updated in '08:

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Poster: mcglone Date: Jun 12, 2010 4:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

hello LIA,

i while back you posted a link to a 30 second mini jam that followed a sugar magnolia from 71 or 72. i was hoping you could steer me back in that direction.

thanks in advance.


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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 13, 2010 3:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

This was the post - a short but sweet musical moment:

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Jun 12, 2010 1:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

Thanks LiA, I have grabbed the update.

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Poster: Jim F Date: Jun 13, 2010 1:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

I agree, there really isn't anything out there that really rivals the Beautiful Jam out of Wharf Rat on 2/18. There is nothing that sounds like it, anyway. Perhaps in terms of thematic jamming in Dark Stars, 2/13/70's Feelin Groovy jam might come close. Or maybe the similar jams of 10/31/71 and 10/18/72. But 2/18/71 truly is in a class of it's own. Fairly precise and compact, once they build up to the post-Whart Rat jam, there is next to nothing that can compare. Sure, there are tons of great Stars with their own unique and outstanding merits, but nothing before or since ever sounded like that sweet telepathic jam of 2/18.

As was also discussed in the other recent thread about Dark Stars (the one about the guy who was looking for versions similar to 10/25/69 and/or ones without scary/noisy meltdowns), not enough can be said of 9/19/70. Another piece of Dark Starry perfection.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 13, 2010 4:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

If you're talking about Feelin' Groovy jams, the one in the 11-26-72 Dark Star might be my's a particularly "dark" Star, and when they get to this theme, Garcia's tone is so heavenly it's unbelievable. (Could just be me, though...)

There are a number of great "one-time-only" jams I keep turning to.
The quiet jam at the end of the 3-22-72 Caution - always sounded to me like a haunting cross between Bobby McGee and Bid You Goodnight - by the time you go, "What the hell is that?!" they're already through with it...
Another great example is the 7-25-72 Other One, which has this awesome section that sounds like the Spanish Jam as the Allman Brothers might play it (Jerry on slide, even!) - never happened again.
A lesser example is the 8-14-71 Other One - the short jam in the middle sounds a lot like China Cat to me, but it's very sweet regardless.
But a really great example is the final jam in the 12-31-72 Other One. It might actually be the closest in feel to the 2-18-71 'Beautiful Jam'?

And of course, I swoon any time they play the Mind Left Body theme in Dark Star, '72 & '73.
And I just love the Uncle John's Band instrumentals inside the Dark Stars on 11-7 and 11-8-69. Not totally unique, but certainly rare & uplifting.

As for other unique Dark Star transitions, perhaps one that takes the cake is 11-8-70, Dark Star into the Main Ten, into an amazing jam, into Dancing in the Streets!

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Poster: Jim F Date: Jun 13, 2010 10:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

Funny you say that, when all this talk about unique/one-off jams began, I had an urge to pull out 7/25/72. Wonderful show, as is the following night. One of the better Other Ones of the year, imo.

I've never quite been as fascinated with the post-Caution jam from 3/22/72 as many others. It is a good enough Caution, followed by an interesting jam as well that deserves accollades, but I've just never been as in love with it as others are.

Somehow I never noticed the short "tuning jam" after the 12/2/71 Sugar Magnolia. Very nice indeed, thanks for the tip. It does sound like later jams such as 3.23.72.

Also, 12/31/72 has long been a favorite, I mean you just don't find such extended jamming that long played that well every day. But I'll have to pull that out and pay closer attention to the end of that Other One, I don't particularly recall the final jam from memory. Same with 8/14/71, also long been a favorite, but I'm drawing a blank on the particular segment you mentioned. I'm sure when I hear it will feel like seeing an old friend and I'll say "oh yeah, THIS part, I love this!"

I've always felt that the jam near the end of the 9/21/72 Star should deserve some higher status as a unique/one-off jam. It's always been one of my favorite themes that somehow seems to sum up/wrap up that 30-some odd minute journey perfectly before heading into Morning Dew. Just the perfect, most appropriate little segue.

Not enough can be said about the Watkins Glen jam. It doesn't really fit into any category. Take say the long jam out of Truckin from 3/24/73 (and the Spanish Jam of telepathic perfection that follows). You could really consider it to be a sortof "middle" section of any Star, or maybe Other One from the year (of course I lean towards DStar as they go on to play a concise version later). Same with the long jam out of 6/28/74's Let it Grow, for quite a spell it has some Dark Star features, as well as that absolutely beautiful, "dreamy" chord progression started by all know the one. For some reason this also reminds me of the very brief DS feel to the jam RIGHT before Wharf Rat on 11/21/73. It's like a simultaneous jam on DS and Wharf Rat. I think 7/18/76 has a similar weirdness to the Wharf Rat.

Anyway I'm getting off track. Watkins Glen's "soundcheck jam" is truly one of a kind. Then again, I personally feel that the Dark Star from 8/1/73 is really a continuation of the music played at WGlen, it is very unique. Something about the whole jam from that show (8/1)that feels "ahead of it's time" or something. Perhaps it's just the last real blaze of improvisational glory before the rather structured jamming of the "horns" shows. Then, well, Fall 73 is a WHOLE nother subject...

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Poster: Jim F Date: Jun 13, 2010 10:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

I hate to reply to myself, but I forgot to mention 1974 jams. If you want a great one-off, don't forget the It's a Sin jam from 6/18.

As for the rest of 74, that goes back to what I said about jams like 3/24/73, it's sortof a generic DStar/Other One jam. Most all the jams from 74 have that similar feel, mainly all the ones that come out of Truckin. While each has their own unique qualities, almost all of them sound like one long "generic 74" jam (such as 8/5/74's long almost generic other-one-ish jam out of Truckin). In a year that saw very few DStars and Other Ones, pretty much all of the hot jammage came out of either Truckin or Weather Report. I think that may be one of the things I like best about that year, you still saw lots of crazy jamming, but it was starting to branch out more from the "Dark Star one night, Other One the next" format of 72, and 73 to an extent. I think a lot of that began with Playing in the Band showing up in second sets in 73, and becoming the framework for various sandwiches. By 74, you had a band that had mastered collective improvisation, and were able to all jump from jam to jam to theme to song perfectly, usually always involving a bit of a Mind Left Body or Spanish theme (a la 7/31/73, 10/17/74, etc).

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 14, 2010 10:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

Yeah, when I talk about 'unique jams' I don't mention '73/74 much, simply because (esp. in '74) so many nights have unique unexpected jams....yet they're not 'themed' like earlier jams were, they're closer to pure improvisation, & so harder to pick apart & describe.

I don't think the 3/22/72 Caution is that great (they hadn't played it in a while, of course!) but I do love that ending. (I'm not so fond of the 6/18/74 It's A Sin as a jam wrap-up, but there you go....)

I believe the 9/21/72 Dark Star jam does have a pretty high status already! Actually (along with the end of the 4/8/72 Dark Star) it's an early version of the Mind Left Body theme....with a very different feel, of course. One thing about the MLB riff though, it could vary quite a bit from show to show, they didn't 'lock it down' as much as, say, Feelin' Groovy. But the end of the 3/23/72 Dark Star also comes to mind as unique - kind of a combination of Feelin' Groovy and Sugar Magnolia, so it's new yet familiar at the same time.

Anyway, back to '73/74, the jams have been described as a 'conversation' that the Dead continued from night to night. (Weir later thought that their '74 jams were becoming too inward, that the band was playing improvs just for themselves & losing the audience...) In terms of being more varied and random than the Dead's earlier jams, that era could be their improvisational high-water mark, since they don't lean on familiar themes as much as they did earlier. (Although I tend to prefer the energy & freshness of '72.)

Speaking of unique Dark Stars, 12/6/73 is as unique as they get.... It certainly divides listeners - there's a recent review of that show from someone who hated it!
"One of the worst Dark Stars I have ever heard...not really the song at all but just some space continues to go nowhere w/ Phil intermittently assaulting our ears w/ bass sustain and feedback. This is generally what musicians do when nothing else is really happening musically."
Personally I wish they'd done more like this....and they were certainly in that bass sustain/feedback groove in Dec '73, they did it in show after show, so it certainly wasn't from being musically bored!

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Poster: Jim F Date: Jun 14, 2010 10:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

I'm in agreement on the 3/22/72 Caution. It's ok, but to me it is definitely the "worst" of the 72 Cautions (I've never been too big on the one from 3/18/71, either, it's more like one long good lovin-esque rap than the Cautions from 67-70 that we know and love). I can't really pick a favorite, but I'd say it's a tie between 4/8/72 and 5/11/72. And I didn't mean to say that the 3/22 post-Caution jam is "bad" or that I don't enjoy it, it is definitely very cool. I just remember reading a lot of hype about it before hearing it, and I guess I had too high of expectations or something, because while I enjoyed it, it just didn't quite feel like it met the expectations.

I think I mentioned earlier that I too feel that the MLBody-ish jam at the end of 9/21/72 reminds me of the late jam in 3/23/72's Dark Star. And yes, 4/8 has it's similarities.

You're so right about the MLB jams of 72-74. No two are really alike. Some are more calmer and soothing, others more rowdy, others very percussive, some faster, some slower,etc. Overall it's a theme that was played so many different ways so many different times, but every one is still recognizable, and as always, brings a smile. MLBJams for me are kindof like The Eleven. It's something that always had a really happy feel to it, both of them have a overall vibe of celebration to them. MLBJams always seemed to come out of those spells of "angry Dead" or the more frightening stuff and always feel very reassuring.

I am also in agreement about your feelings towards 72's jams souding "fresher" than 74's. While 72 lacks such faves as Eyes and Weather Report, which reached some real heights in 74, there is really nothing like the improv of a 72 Dark Star or Other One. When I look for that jazzy style of jamming, I tend to lean very heavily to 72 over the following 2 years myself. That said, I think they really were on a roll in 74, I think I *like* the fact that they may have turned more inward. That's how I like a band to play, more for themselves than for the crowd.

it is rather mindboggling how one could not like the 12/6/73 Star, but then again, you won't find as many opinions and polarization anywhere else like you find in the Deadhead crowd. I think I once heard someone refer to that Star as "backwards," as in it is almost like they took the typical framework they were using at the time and played it in reverse. I guess that is kindof true.

Anyway, I think I'm about done on this thread lol. LIA, man I'd sure love to meet you sometime and have these kind of discussions for hours. I feel like we could probably talk for days. Recently I had said on here how I have been faithfuly reading ever since the GD section was added to the LMA, but that I never posted much. I have always loved your posts, ie the ones where you break down the evolution of a certain song, break down every show in a certain period (like the recent breakdown of April 1970). That's exactly the kind of stuff I do in my head or when talking to friends, but am too scatterbrained to sit down and type out. But I'm starting to get a little more involved in this forum and posting more, so maybe that will change slightly. At any rate, I appreciate those who do take the time to make such critiques and I enjoy chiming in on them. Good stuff.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 15, 2010 12:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

You probably saw this essay on the 12/6/73 Dark Star - led to some interesting discussion:
The author points out how December '73 was a particular vortex for Noisy Phil, really getting into the feedback screeches. (Didn't that fall off somewhat after Ned joined with his Seastones section in late June '74, so Phil got it out of his system there?) 12-2-73 could be my favorite example of the MLB jam coming as soothing relief after some hair-raising chaos.

Anyway, I usually give up posting to threads once they fall off the bottom of the page! Who's still reading anyway? But the Archive discussion always continues...

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Poster: Dhamma1 Date: Jun 12, 2010 4:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

Chris -

The 2-18-1971 jam you refer to is often discussed under the name "Beautiful Jam" and is a favorite of many people.

Try the Dark Star on 2-22-1969
which has only enough moments of chaos to frame its times of exquisite beauty.

2-27-1969 is another, and perhaps the classic version since it appeared on Live/Dead. It bears repeated listening, but you'll have to buy the CD or get it from a library. Like Capt Cook said, some days I can listen to these over and over. Whenever I hear the opening notes of Dark Star, I relax deep inside and feel like I'm home.

Those 1969 high points have their roots in the previous six months, which included several shows without Bob and Pigpen. These have lots of wonderful jazzy stretches unlike anything found elsewhere. They can be more raw than the delicate 2-18-1971 jam, though. Here are my recommendations, if you haven't already explored the jams of late 1968:
Pure, exquisite, psychedelic ecstasy. Capn Doubledose: "I am reborn, annointed in the magic life-giving properties of what I think is my favorite on this whole site. You too will meet Yahwhey here."
With Jack Casady and Elvin Bishop. Highlights are the opening Clementine Jam and the Dark Star Jam; third set with Elvin Bishop gets pretty raw at times but the final jam is rather nice.
Very lovely instrumental blues & jazz jams containing seeds of Scarlet Begonias & Fire On the Mountain
Only pure psychedelia -- no blues or rock, as Pigpen was absent this night. One long song, really, and a favorite of many people around here.
Sound quality is fantastic and performances stunning. They sound very focused, clear, and intense. Most of the songs have no vocals but are melodic and psychedelic.
Music with no name, with Jack Casady and Spencer Dryden on hand. Pure improvisational psychedelic blues and jazz (no vocals). Perfect sound quality and phenomenal performances. Note the set list below. Some confusion over dates and content, but all reviewers agree it's fabulous
Set list:
Jam [41:54]
Jam [39:23]

Have fun

- Michael

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Jun 12, 2010 8:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??

Here are a few essentials, some of which have already been mentioned:


The early dark stars are very energetic, and this one is no exception. At 15 minutes it was rather long for the time period, but the dead would start stretching the song to 20+ minutes when '69 rolled around.


This is a nice and gritty recording of a nice and gritty dark star. The whole experience is almost exactly 30 minutes, and never gets boring, even for a second. Contains a nice mix of the 1969 groovy psychedelia mixed with the 1970 fire that was to come, and contains two beautifully played jam themes, Feelin Groovy and Tighten Up. This definitely scores on the top 5 list for me.

(Dick's Picks 4)

A classic performance of Dark Star, this is probably my all-time favorite because it resonates on a very personal level for me. A lot of people on this forum prefer other 1970 stars to this one, but there is a subtle beauty and majesty in this performance that hits me deeply.


One look at the set list and you won't need much convincing to listen to this one. I recommend starting with the not fade away.


This is a magical one. Starts out super-quietly and the energy slowly builds. Contains a very effective feedback segment that grows and blossoms into a beautiful Feelin Groovy jam.

(Steppin' Out)

In some ways there's no topping this dark star. The jamming they pull off BEFORE the first verse is probably the most cohesive improvisation I've ever heard them do; it's tight, loose, anguished and joyful all at once.

(Dick's Picks 11)

One of my favorites from 1972, this is a fast and furiously energetic version that builds up at the end and eventually cascades seamlessly into Cumberland Blues. If you've never heard this one, you absolutely must.

Those are probably mt favorites - I'm sure I've left a few out (or twenty). But these are absolute musts.

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Poster: Ernie Bo-Peep Date: Jun 12, 2010 6:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wow where can I find more Dark Stars/jams like this??